Restaurant Brands met its sales forecast for 2018, with revenue rising 49 per cent to $740.8 million, as acquisitions in Hawaii and Australia bolstered earnings.

In June last year, chief executive Russel Creedy said the company expected to "comfortably" exceed revenue of $700m in the 2018 financial year and it was aiming to reach $1 billion in annual sales.

Today, the company reported it had done that with fourth-quarter earnings, for the 12 weeks ended February 26, at $181.3m, a 49 per cent lift on the same period in 2017. The full earnings are due on April 17.

In New Zealand, Restaurant Brands runs KFC, Pizza Hut, Carl's Jr and Starbucks Coffee, while in the last 18 months it has added Hawaii, where it operates 82 Taco Bell and Pizza Hut stores, and Australia, where it operates 61 KFC outlets in New South Wales.


KFC New Zealand sales rose 7.8 per cent to $319.6m in the year, up 6.2 per cent on a same-store basis, with fourth-quarter sales rising 7.1 per cent to $75.7m, up 5 per cent on a same-store basis. Store numbers rose by two in the year to 94, with one outlet opening at Christchurch Airport during the quarter.

The US operations had fourth-quarter sales of US$28.6million, or $39.4m, and have contributed US$119.8m, or $167.5m, in the 51 weeks since they were bought. Its Taco Bell and Pizza Hutt stores near Pearl Harbour are temporarily closed due to ongoing infrastructure work on the base and are scheduled to reopen in April 2018, it said.

In Australia, annual sales rose 50.9 per cent on a total store basis to A$139.5m, or $151.8m, up 4.9 per cent on a same-store basis. Fourth-quarter sales were A$39.1m, or $42.7m, up 2.4 per cent on a same-store basis and 57.7 per cent in total. It started the year with 42 stores and bought or opened 19 during the year.

Sales at the 36 company-owned Pizza Hut New Zealand outlets rose 1.5 per cent annually to $41.1m, up 8.1 per cent on a same-store basis, with sales up 0.2 per cent in the quarter to $9m. There are 61 Pizza Hut outlets operated by independent franchisees and network sales climbed 10 per cent to $100.7m in the year, with a 6.4 per cent quarterly gain to $22.8m.

Starbucks Coffee sales struggled, down 3.3 per cent annually to $25.8m though they rose 6.3 per cent on a same-store basis. The company closed two Starbucks outlets in the year, bringing its total in the country to 22.

Carl's Jr sales dropped 3.9 per cent to $34.9m in the year, and were down 2.6 per cent on a same-store basis, with the number of outlets unchanged at 19.

The shares last traded at $7.20 and have gained 34 per cent in the past 12 months.